As first-time parents, my husband and I devised a schedule to share the overnight duties with our 3-month-old son.
I would watch him from 9 pm until 4 am while my husband slept.
Then, my husband would take over from 4 am to 8 am, allowing me to rest before starting my day.
This system seemed fair to both of us and worked well – our son would usually only wake up once or twice to eat.
My Husband’s Shocking and Uncharacteristic Outburst
Out of nowhere last night, around 8 pm, my husband exploded at me in anger, insisting that he should not have to wake up with the baby at all during the night.
I was completely shocked by this sudden change in his attitude.
He repeatedly demanded that I “name one man” who splits the overnight childcare as we had agreed to.
No matter how much I tried to explain that comparing ourselves to other couples wasn’t constructive, he stubbornly continued repeating, “Name one man who does this.”
Trying to Understand What Prompted This Change
I racked my brain, trying to understand where this was coming from.
I frequently tell him how much I appreciate him and all he does for our family.
I also try to be affectionate and tell him what a great father he is to our son.
But last night, he told me that when he tells other dads he’s up by 4 am with the baby before work, they act stunned and say they can’t believe he does that.
I got the sense he feels it’s unfair that he has to take on more than other fathers.
Seeking Feedback To Improve Our Childcare Approach
Since this is our first baby, my husband and I are still figuring things out.
I want to get suggestions from other parents on how they handle overnight duties.
There may be a better system we have yet to think of.
I also want advice on how to have a constructive conversation about this sudden change in his feelings.
My Husband Apologized, and We Talked Through a Solution
After having some time to think about it during the workday, my husband came home remorseful.
He sincerely apologized for the harsh outburst and admitted he has been stressed at work lately.
We agreed that from now on, we must openly communicate whenever we need a break or time to recharge.
He said he actually cherishes having alone time with our son in the early morning and still wants to participate in the overnight schedule we created.
I’m hopeful that with increased understanding and teamwork, we can find a childcare solution we both feel good about.
Commenters React to Husband’s Refusal to Help With Newborn at Night
When a wife recently sought advice after her husband exploded about not wanting to assist with their baby at night, it prompted strong reactions from commenters sharing a mix of criticism, empathy, and suggestions.
#1. Seeing the Husband’s View as Selfish and Ridiculous
Many found the husband’s perspective completely delusional and selfish.
In their view, he was making excuses to avoid performing parenting duties.
They pointed out that taking care of his child for a few hours is the bare minimum expectation as a father, not something “above and beyond.”
It’s concerning that he would even try to rationalize doing less for his family.
The husband must realize that shirking his responsibilities as a dad and leaving more of the childcare burden on his wife is simply unacceptable.
Committing to having a child means stepping up to fulfill your role, even when it’s tiring or inconvenient.
He shouldn’t be looking for ways to do less.
#2. Criticizing the Husband’s Comparisons to Other Men
Several commenters took issue with the husband comparing himself to other men and using that as justification.
They strongly felt he should view his wife as an equal parenting partner, not measure himself against other husbands.
Part of being in a marriage is tackling parenting duties together based on what works best for your own family.
The husband shouldn’t concern himself with what other dads do or don’t do.
Each couple has different circumstances.
He needs to focus on his household and fulfilling his responsibilities as a father, not on unrealistic comparisons.
#3. Sharing Stories of Involved Fathers
Despite the husband’s claims, many readers shared stories proving plenty of good fathers do wake up at night to help with babies.
Some told of husbands who took over childcare for large blocks of time daily to allow the mothers to rest.
The comments reflected that while the husband may feel like an exception, there are, in fact, many devoted dads who contribute equally at night.
The husband made a flawed assumption based on limited experience.
But numerous examples show that caring fathers who share overnight duties are more common than he thinks.
#4. Concerns About the Husband’s Maturity and Attitudes
Some commenters worried the husband’s perspective reflected immaturity, close-mindedness, or promotion of unfair stereotypical gender roles.
They felt his attitude was sexist and misogynistic.
The husband needs to reflect deeply on why he believes childcare should fall more on mothers.
Clinging to rigid, outdated gender roles and resisting hands-on parenting is not a healthy mindset.
He needs to do some inner work to become more progressive in his thinking.
#5. Offering Solutions for Overnight Arrangements
While many took issue with the husband’s viewpoint, some suggested more sustainable overnight arrangements.
One proposed solution to allow longer uninterrupted sleep was trading off whole nights instead of shifts.
Trying different approaches to see what works best for their family’s needs and abilities seemed wise.
There are likely ways the husband can feel less burdened while still participating fairly.
Instead of complaining, the husband should be open to trying alternative schedules to help them both get more rest.
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Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.